Grand Skirmish Germany 2019 – Herford, 30.11.-1.12.2019

shadespire.blog is co-hosting Germany‘s first Grand Skirmish for WHU along with the head-organiser TG Play! Herford which is taking place on the last weekend of November!

While we try to get as many international players on board as possible I came across some doubts which I want to clear with a short FAQ.


What the f*** is „Grand Skirmish“? Is that stuff official?

Games Workshop invented a new tournament system for big events (60+ players) which is supported by GW in terms of prices, but not organised by them or part of a convention with a trade show (which would be the „Grand Clash“). I hope I got that right.

That means: Yes, it is an official tournament with fancy prices from GW.


How does the event work in terms of rules and schedule?

The main event will run on Saturday and Sunday. Day 1 will be five rounds of Swiss best of 3. Top 16 cut will play for the shiny trophy on Sunday.

Didn‘t make Top 16? Fear not! After the cut a full skirmish tournament will take place for the other players.

An official rules pack is available at http://tinyurl.com/GrandSkirmishInfo


You wrote „official price support“. What will we get?

1st place will obtain the „Grand Skirmish Trophy“ by GW which even we do not know what it looks like (yet).

Tokens, alternative cards, etc. will be given to players according to their ranking similar to Grand Clashes.

On top of that we will have the official shadeglass trophies for 2nd and 3rd place, as well as shadeglass for the side event on Sunday!

That‘s not all: Frederick from TG Play! also organised fantastic tokens (for the Top 12) and playmats which every player will receive!

Objective tokens (you first place the normal ones and them replace them by these fancy shadeglass ones)
Playmats of Grand Skirmish Germany 2019

Ok, price support is fancy… but which other reason is there to travel all the way to Herford?

First of all: there is enough space to sleep at the venue! Just bring your sleeping bag and pad. No hotel cost, no further traveling.

Second: I have been to their tournaments before. The venue is fantastic and TG Play clearly know how to run big events. They also have the best food I came across (playing WHU tournaments). The entry fees include drinks and food!

Third: You can arrive Friday afternoon already and play friendly games at the venue.


Where do I register?

You can register at https://www.tabletopturniere.de/t3_tournament.php?tid=24608

Early bird discount is available until end of September and will save you 10€!

Also join our Whatsapp-group to ask questions and keep in touch with us and other players: https://tinyurl.com/GrandSkirmish

The earlier you register the more fancy stuff we can add to the price pool.


Will we use official rules?

Yes, we use the official Grand Clash rules.


Is there a cut-off date for errata, BAR-updates and such?

Yes, one week before the event players have to submit their lists. Any errata, etc. published by GW until that date will take effect.


Paypal?

Yes.


That‘s all for now. Hope to see you in Herford! Let‘s make this big together 🙂

WHU Decklist Eyes of the Nine

Eyes of the Nine Tournament Win – Decklist and Strategy

I was back at the Battlezone Dubai (they run WHU evenings every Tuesday now) for another tournament. Since the last event I worked on an Eyes of the Nine deck. I changed it every single day without even playing it once.

Eventually I came up with this decklist. It main purpose is gathering base glory (check Tony’s article on “base glory” in case you missed out) while shooting with Vortemis and the Blue Horror. Since both do not deal lots of damage most of my gambit cards will deal additional damage.

This article contains both the decklist as well as a shortened tournament report.

The objectives

Easy to score: Well-Guarded, Keep them Guessing, Change of Tactics, Calculated Risk, Eyes of the Master

All these objectives can be accomplished without rolling dice (or at least it does not matter if your rolls succeed or not). Keep them Guessing is easy to score with The Eyes of Nine escpecially when the Blue Horror has not been summoned yet. Well-Guarded is attractive as I would try to place Vortemis and K’charik adjacent to each other due to their inspiring condition. Eyes of the Master turned out to be less easy to score, but mainly because I always had better ones to score. I would still keep it in my deck.

Holding objectives: Supremacy, Our Only Way Out, Bind the City

The Blue Horror is actually one of the best characters in game to hold objectives. Why? You spawn him anywhere so he can even reach the other edge of the board. When he is on an objective and someone tries to hit him down this is what usually happens: it dies and you turn around the card to spawn the Brimstone Horrors. The great thing: they will not be not pushed, which means the objective is still being held.

Reason enough for me to put the three high scoring objectives into my deck (and it worked just fine).

Shooty objectives: Master of Magic, Rising Inferno, Death from Afar, Sorcerous Scouring

I figured if I made attacks in the games to come it would mainly be spells cast by Vortemis or fireballs shot by the Blue Horror. Turned out these are really easy to score! I kept away from the objectives which require four or more successful spells per round though.

Gambits

Did someone say “one damage”?: Reflected Injury, Shardgale, Trap, Abasoth’s Withering, Encroaching Shadow, Pit Trap, Sphere of Aqshy, Stand and Shoot

These are a lot of cards which spit out single damage points. Keep reading to see how a single wound attack killed a full-grown Stormcast Eternal.

The other two: Transfixing Stare, Haymaker

Haymaker is simply wonderful especially when used with the last activation. As it does not specify “attack-dice” it can be used with Vortemis as well. Transfixing Stare is a good counter if most of your warbands can attack from range 2. I only used it once in my games though and might replace it with another damage dealing spell.

Upgrades

Staying alive: Acrobatic, Deathly Fortitude, Champion’s Fortitude, Sudden Growth

I used two restricted slots to make sure Vortemis and the Blue Horror pull through all three rounds. Acrobatic and Champion’s Fortitude would support this task.

Giving +2 health to the Blue Horror creates a mollogesque 7 wounds monster (as both sides of its card get +2 wounds). I did not dare to give him +4…

We need more damage: Empowered Sorcery, Gloryseeker, Blessing of Argentine, Archer’s Focus, Well of Power

While Empowered Sorcery and Gloryseeker add one damage to your damage dealt, Archer’s Focus and Well of Power make sure you hit in the first place.

Blessing of Argentine is a wonderful card and one of my favourites in Nightvault in general. It might look useless against characters using ranged weapons, but that is not 100% true. If you charge them first and stay adjacent they can a) attack you and take the damage, b) do not attack you or c) move away before attacking. Which makes the blessing a strong card for board controll. This especially works fine with cards like Shardgale, Reflected Injury, Encroaching Shadow, etc. Against characters with range 1 this card is bonkers.

You might ignore a model with Argentine’s Blessing, but not if it is the one holding the only objective in your range which will score the opponent objectives like Supremacy.

Blue-Horror_Eyes-of-the-Nine

For the LOLs: Duellist’s Speed

Well… I understand that this card is not considered strong by many players. But given the fact that 4 out of 5 characted in Eyes of the Nine have a range 3 attack and many warbands in WHU have characters with movement 3 (or even below), this card gives you the possibility to shoot and move out of range. Or shoot and move into range for the next target (I used both ways during the tournament).

Apart of that it is a lovely combination with Stand and Shoot (David Hayes called it “Poor man’s Quick Thinker“! I liked the idea a lot and had to steal it!). I had a dream about combining Haymaker with Stand and Shoot and Duellist’s Speed. Never happened though.

Running the Deck

To summarise the weekend tournament: my deck left without a loss thanks to the many damage dropping gambits.

My board choice was Forbidden Chambers and I placed Vortemis adjacent to two other fighters. He has a great threat range to attack if required (4 movement + 3 range) and from there it is almost impossible to escape him. On the other side he can not be easily charged by multiple characters. That being said: if you are up against Mollog or other aggro warbands you might take him to the back of your board.

I used to drop Shardgale as early as possible before summoning the Blue Horror deep in opponent’s territory and holding one of the objectives there.

During the first match I encountered Skaven and Shardgale worked like a blessing against them. Each gambit card used resulted in a kill and a glory to a point I felt bad about what was going on.

3D boards for Warhammer Underworlds with Eyes of the Nine & Spiteclaw's Swarm

Eyes of the Nine fight Spiteclaw’s Swarm

In the final I was up against defensive Stormcast Eternals and it turns out the deck copes with defensive play quite well. I closed the second round with a combination of Shardgale, Reflected Injury, a three crits ranged attack by Senior Le Bleu for one damage and Encroaching Shadow killing Brightshield in full health. For the record: It was the first time I rolled 3/3 crits.

It was a wonderful afternoon at the Battlezone and I look forward to the next tournament and Tuesday’s WHU nights. Not sure yet which warband I will take up now, but I might choose something with beards. Stay tuned!

Blue Horror holding objetive against Spiteclaw's Swarm

Blue Horror vs Skritch Spiteclaw in WHU

Thorns of the Briar Queen won a Shadeglass trophy in Dubai

Dubai Spring Tournament – Thorns of the Briar Queen

In my last article I gave insights into my Hold Objectives/ Controll deck for my Thorns of the Briar Queen. At the Dubai Spring Tournament (Battlezone Dubai) it successfully brought in my next Shadeglass Trophy.

Beef #1: Thorns of the Briar Queen VS Ironskull’s Boyz

I played against Terry’s well painted Orruks – a match-up which I have quite a lot of experience with. We played two rounds in which both I was able to do the board placement. My best chance for this (but the most frustrating for an Orruk player) was playing long corridor.

As it was the first round of the tournament Terry was not aware what kind of evil witchcraft my Queen was going to pull out of the hat and he placed the objectives as far behind as possible (one on the edge hex). I withdrew my whole gang to my edge of the board first using Varclav’s super power. He and his queen were placed on my edge in the beginning. End of turn one I made the hyper jump with my Queen by using Hidden Paths and pushed one of my minios onto the objective token in reach of Terry’s Boyz.

Thorns of the Briar Queen VS Ironskull’s Boyz – Objectives secured!

I do not clearly remember which objectives I scored, but it led me to 6 glory end of turn one. Terry had to decide splitting up his gang and attacking both flanks or focusing on my territory while ignoring the Queen holding an objective. To make her harder to ignore she was given the Tome of Glories. Terry decided to kill the Queen who resisted quite a long time before going down. She played her role well and allowed me to score objectives inside my territory leading to a victory in round 1.

I felt bad for Terry when I decided to use the same board placement as if things went not horribly wrong round 2 would go towards the same direction.

Thorns of the Briar Queen VS Ironskull’s Boyz – Sleepy ghosts

Indeed the second round went to my favour. After scoring four glory in turn one I decided to play it save and hide in my corner farming upgrades to score big in turn 3. Eventually the plan worked out and I won the best of three 2:0 with a glory difference of +22.

Terry showed good sportsmanship and I promise not to come back next time with a similar deck.

Beef #2: Thorns of the Briar Queen VS The Eyes of the Nine

Playing top-table against Tzeentch’s advocates was going to be tough for me. They have high range, they can summon an unkillable horror right next to me and they are unpredictable. On top of that Saeed was able to overcome Magore’s Fiends in his first match – spooky!

I got a good start being allowed to decide the board placement and once more I went with corridor. I had to delay jumping to Saeed’s territory as he would have wiped the ground with me easily. Drawing a Mulligan left me with some easy to score objectives: Well-Guarded, Keep them Guessing and Tactical Supremacy 3-4 which were placed on my board. I was able to score all of them as Saeed summoned the blue horror in range of my minions. Oh boy this small guy is a pain! I know it is better ignoring him, but once Saeed equipped him with Tome of Diseases and threw Shardgale into the ring I was too scared to leave him alone. I attacked him and wasted an unreasonable amount of ploys to silence him (he still killed one or two of my ghosts). However thanks to the strong start I was able to win round 1 by +5 glory. I was saved by the upgrades Inescapable Vengeance and Faneway Crystal which brought me some extra glory in round 3 along with the suitable keys.
The second match I got to place three objective tokens, but had to say good-bye to the corridor. Until round 3 I was only able to score 4 glory and lost the Ever-Hanged plus three other Chainrasps. These 4 glory though I kept for the last round to equip the Faneway Crystal and provide a key or two (spoiler: I did not draw the right keys). Apart from Faneway Crystal I had Transfixing Gaze, Baffling Illusion and Sudden Appearance in hand.

The objectives I held could net me 7 glory: Supremacy, Making a Statement and Take the City. Saeed hat two objectives tokens on his board and I had the right cards to jump there within two turns.

My plan was clear, but chances pulling off the following were low to say the least:

  1. Varclav was wounded and could be killed with a single blow, so I put him on guard.
  2. I had to use Transfixing Gaze on K’charik who was in range of both a) the place where my Queen would disappear to as well as b) my chainrasp who would be holding an objective on my territory.
  3. Baffling Illusion would deny one turn of successful charging
  4. I hoped he would go for my Chainrasp who was the easiest kill. Even if he killed him I still had 4 more glory from Making a Statement and Take the City which might be enough to still win.
  5. My Queen will escape and make a Sudden Appearance out of reach and move onto an objective in Saeed’s territory.
  6. Varclav will use the allmighty Faneway Crystal to jump straight onto the second objective in Saeed’s territory.

Unfortunately Saeed switched to attacking Varclav once he held the objective in this territory, but I was able to win all rolls thanks to his guard token. I was struck by surprise when I finally scored all 7 glory while denying Saeed’s objectives.

End of round 3 victory was mine with 2:0 and +11 glory difference. Both Saeed and I could not believe what just happened. Sorry for stealing that win!

Beef #3: Thorns of the Briar Queen VS Stormcast Eternals

At that point only Byron’s Stormcast Eternals and my Nighthaunt stood undefeated. Due to personal reasons Byron had to concede this match (I think and hope it was not because I am horrible person!). I am leaving this event with a feeling of unfinished business, but I think somehow my ghosties deserved their Shadeglass.

It was a lovely day at the Battlezone and even though our community here in Dubai is still small it is a big pleasure meeting them and discussing WHU in our WhatsApp-group.

As my Nighthaunt will be sent into retirement with immediate effect The Eyes of the Nine are ready for the next tournament. Stay tuned for my next decklist!

The Warhammer Underworlds Grand Clash and my way to the shadeglass

A while ago I set up the plan to take part in as many tournaments as possible until I win a shadeglass trophy. Here is how it went:

I started my tournament season with the toughest challenge available: The Grand Clash at Warhammer Fest in Dusseldorf, Germany. Andrej accompanied me and it was his first Shadespire tournament as well.

We started off with a bootcamp the week before playing multiple matches with time limit as we were afraid we might play too slow. Andrej was running the cannibals (bloodreavers) while I trained with my hybrid skaven deck.

Honestly I did not feel ready for a Grand Clash as I knew I had troubles with whatever Khorne sent towards me, but I was determined to not change my warband.

The Grand Clash

The event took place at Maritim hotel (Dusseldorf airport). The hotel itself was a bit too fancy for our likes, but the location attracted many international players from all over the world; suitable for a Grand Clash!

The event featured four matches and a final match between 1st and 2nd place. The first three matches took place on Saturday while the fourth match and the final happened on Sunday.

We played best of three with a time limit of 90 minutes. In between matches there was enough time to eat (sausages for roughly 7€ – but there was a supermarket nearby) or to risk a look at the fantastic miniatures on display (Golden Demon Awards) and Games Workshop’s new releases.

I won a mirror match against Skaven with a glory difference of roughly 20+ which got me to the top tables in round 2. There I faced the Orruks which I was able to slay apart thanks to a lot of a lot of crits. Afterwards it went downwards. In round I had to face another Skaven warband, yet this time I screwed up. I guess my prior wins pushed my ego too far and I let my poor Skritch die a painful dead.

But it was round 4 when I met my new nemesis. Defensive Farstriders… My opponent did not score a lot of glory, but it was enough to beat me.

Eventually I placed in the upper middle-field which was ok for my first tournament. Let’s take an even less detailed look on the next tournaments.

Headblast Con

Nice location, well organised and I met some fellow players from the Warhammer Fest such as Deniz. Back then I gave his Orruks a tough time. His revenge was brought by yours truly Sanson Farstrider. Lost the first round as well as the second (Magore’s Fiends). However I was able to win the upcoming two rounds against Stormcast Eternals and Farstriders. Again I was ranked in the upper middle-field. Up to the next event!

TG Play!

This was the best organised event I have seen so far (not only for WHU); even better than the Grand Clash. I will be going there again for the Masters in December (this time with my Thorns of the Briar Queen).

Round 1 was against Klaas and his Orruks. It was an intense match-up and ended in a draw (which I believe we were both happy about). Round 2 was a rain of glory against the Warden and his shaky bones. Which let to round 3… Farstriders. Aaaand I lost that one again. No glass for me this time even though my skaven kicked asses in round 4 (which was a sweet mirror match). Time to move on!

Fischkrieg

The fourth tournament happened at a nice store in Siegen which I visited earlier for TCG events and it actually was the shop where I initially bought Shadespire and my Skaven.

This time I made it to the finals despite the fact that I met Farstriders on my way there. I guess fighting them repeatedly helped a lot, because this time I knew what to do and managed to win even with several bad rolls on my side.

It seems this tournament was meant to bring several story arcs to an end. I faced my bro Andrej in the finals who started this journey with me. I would usually lose against these freaking bloodsuckers of Khorne. But not this time! If I remember correctly the earth started shaking while we played three exciting rounds. Our rolls were accompanied by thunder… Perhaps my mind is colouring that moment a bit too much. Long story short: I won the third match thanks to a tiebreaker and ended this journey with my first shadeglass-trophy!

What next?

Shortly after my win Nightvault was released and I decided to take a change. For the next tournament (the Masters) I built a new deck for my nighthaunt with a different playstyle.

The event will take place on December 1st and until now 36 players are registered. The Masters might easily grow to the biggest WHU event so far.

As by now many WHU blogs post on regular basis I decided to only throw in my few cents every now and then.

Next time I will introduce my Nighthaunt deck (after December 1st). Stay tuned!